A few weeks ago Sebastian Horsley was headed to the U.S. to begin a media tour for his recently published memoir Dandy in the Underworld, in which he “chronicles his life as an artist, a junkie and a self-professed dandy. . . . painting himself as a misogynist, a sexual deviant and a narcissist.” [Publisher's Weekly] He was questioned by U.S. officials for eight hours at Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey before being sent back to England.
Lucille Cirillo, a spokeswoman for the New York office of United States Customs and Border Protection. . . in an e-mail message, said that under a waiver program that allows British citizens to enter the United States without a visa, “travelers who have been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude (which includes controlled-substance violations) or admit to previously having a drug addiction are not admissible.” [NY Times]
The “utterly appalling” nature of this denial is noted by the writer at the powerofnarrative.blogspot.com:
And now you are “not admissible” if you have been convicted of a “crime involving moral turpitude” — even if you have already suffered whatever penalty might have been imposed and are now free, although you are not free to enter the United States — or if you “admit to previously having a drug addiction.” Obviously, you should lie about it.
But obviously, if you’ve written a book about said turpitude, it becomes more difficult to lie, even, apparently, for a man who has gone on record saying, “It’s better to be quotable than honest.”
“Oh pardon me thou bleeding piece of earth,
that I am meek and gentle with these butchers
thou art the ruins of the noblest man that ever lived in the tide of times
woe to the hand that shed this costly blood!
Over thy wounds now do I prophesy
which like dumb mouths do ope their ruby lips
to beg the voice and utterance of
thy my tongue”
That is all I can remember of Antony’s speech over the murdered body of Julius Caesar in William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar. Those seven lines stayed with me since high school freshman(?) English. Only misremembered one pronoun! Yet I don’t think Mr. “balding” Spalding would be impressed, since I didn’t know the rest.
Alas, the most famous lines come later in the speech:
“A curse shall light upon the limbs of men;
Domestic fury and fierce civil strife
Shall cumber all the parts of Italy;
Blood and destruction shall be so in use
And dreadful objects so familiar
That mothers shall but smile when they behold
Their infants quarter’d with the hands of war;
All pity choked with custom of fell deeds:
And Caesar’s spirit, ranging for revenge,
With Ate by his side come hot from hell,
Shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice
Cry ‘Havoc,’ and let slip the dogs of war;
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial.”
Wow, that’s gross. Now I feel like reading Shakespeare again. Or, maybe I’ll just celebrate the Ides of March with a nice glass of wine instead.
The image is James Purefoy as Mark Antony in the underrated HBO series Rome.
These are the books I’ve read over the last ~4 months.
Even without any major travel since our jaunt to the Bay Area in May to see Bjork in concert at Shoreline Amphitheatre, my summer was busy with the freelance writing I mentioned and the big deal in July, our QuadMag.com 10-year anniversary party.
Never mind that I was supposed to be working on my MA project, I managed to squeeze in a couple books just for fun: Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia and the last half of Paul Theroux’s Dark Star Safari, which I had on loan from the library since ah, 2005. (Gotta love the generous faculty/staff borrowing privileges.)
The title links above go to amazon via my affiliate name and if anyone buys following these links, I’d get a small commission. I’ll be surprised if this turns into a revenue stream but figured why not, I shop amazon for books, CDs, movies, all kinds of things.
My impressions of these books after the jump.